Philippine Dermatological Society

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Bernadette Caluya, MD, DPDS

What is Dandruff?

Dandruff is a common skin condition where dry scales flake from the scalp. It is not contagious but it can be itchy and embarrassing to those who have it. It can occur across all age groups.It can be chronic and recurrent for many years. Dandruff may worsen during low temperature seasons and may also be associated with immunodeficiency and stress.

What are the symptoms?

It can be associated to the following symptoms:

  • itchiness
  • oily scalp
  • scales on your scalp, eyebrows, back of ears, sides of the nose, chin, chest and upper back

What causes dandruff?

  • seborrhea or increased sebum production in the scalp
  • some cases are associated with increase of a fungus called Malassezia furfur on affected skin
  • skin conditions like Seborrheic Dermatitis, Psoriasis, Eczema or Contact dermatitis to hair products

How to treat dandruff?

  • Use of anti-dandruff shampoos that contain selenium sulfide, ketoconazole or zinc pyrithione
  • Topical corticosteroids
  • Antihistamines for symptomatic relief of itching
  • Proper hygiene

It is advisable to seek consult to a board-certified dermatologist before starting any treatment so that one’s condition will be assessed adequately and proper treatment will be prescribed.